Words related to tease
early 14c., "to comb (flax or hemp) with a heckle;" from heckle (n.) or from related Middle Dutch hekelen. Figurative meaning "to question severely in a bid to uncover weakness" is from late 18c. "Long applied in Scotland to the public questioning of parliamentary candidates" [OED]. Presumably from a metaphor of rough treatment, but also compare hatchel "to harass" (1800), which may be a variant of hazel, the name of the plant that furnished switches for whippings. Related: Heckled; heckling.
"pull roughly, disorder, dishevel," mid-15c., frequentative of -tousen "handle or push about roughly," probably from an unrecorded Old English *tusian, from Proto-Germanic *tus- (source also of Frisian tusen, Old High German erzusen, German zausen "to tug, pull, dishevel"); related to tease (v.). Related: Tousled; tousling.